To Catch the Setting Sun by Richard I. Levine
A serial killer in paradise!
Someone was targeting beautiful, young, native Hawaiian women. Each had been tied up and tortured, their throats sliced, and their bodies left with a taunting note for the police detective whose own wife had been the killer’s first victim.
Henry “Hank” Benjamin, a former New Yorker with a reputation for aggressively pursuing his investigations, has few friends at Honolulu Police Department. Even his partner, Billy Iona, found him difficult to work with. Still, someone up the ladder in Honolulu appeared to be placing roadblocks in his way to solving these heinous murders.
When a disgruntled tourist with connections downtown complains that Hank didn’t respectfully pursue the theft of his watch at a local hotel, Hank finds himself sidelined and suspended. With no end to the horrific murders in sight, the disgraced detective teams up with his replacement on the cases, hometown girl Detective Kaelani Kanakina, hoping that with her on point, whoever is manipulating things behind the scenes will ease up.
Their investigation starts to uncover secrets that hit close to home, and when another young woman is grabbed, this time with a witness, Hank and Kaelani can finally go full-throttle to catch the killer.
To Catch The Setting Sun was a thrilling police procedural set on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Disgraced Honolulu Police Department detective Henry “Hank” Benjamin was hard to appreciate initially; he’s abrupt, acerbic, and drinks too much. But he’s just lost his wife, the first victim of a serial killer, right? So you cut him some slack, yeah? Kaelani Kanakina is a hard charger, too, but plays better with others. By the end of the book, I didn’t want to let either of these characters go. I would definitely grab up a sequel.
The setting on the island is a treat, but it is the local community and the feeling of family that makes it so compelling. Everyone knows everyone else, and their secrets aren’t secrets from anyone but outsiders. I enjoyed the effortless incorporation of Hawaiian words and phrases throughout the story, making the dialogue seem genuine and authentic.
There were times when I had difficulty following characters’ internal dialogues, and sometimes more extended exchanges between speakers were confusing as to who was talking when, so I had to re-read passages. There was also a bit of repetition at times, but I wasn’t sure this wasn’t intentional. Neither issue was overwhelming. However, I was left with questions at the end of the book: maybe points for launching a series? But overall, the book was good, exciting, and well worth getting your hands on.
I recommend TO CATCH THE SETTING SUN to mystery readers who enjoy police procedurals, especially those featuring the disgraced detective teaming up with the young newcomer.
I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours.
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